diy rope basket: under $10 in less than an hour!
I've long coveted nautically-inspired rope baskets. They look like stacks of giant sailing bracelets and remind me of Montauk, NY and Newport, RI -- all the wet-aired east coast beaches that serve lip-smacking taffy and make your hair frizz. But at prices ranging from $29 to $89 at home stores, I just couldn't let myself get roped in. (Probably not the last time you'll endure that pun in this piece.)
Examining the simple construction of one of these babies at a fancy home boutique recently, I decided I had to try to make my own. What you see here is a result of that endeavor, and it came out pretty adorable, if I do say so myself. All I needed to make this thing was five yards of cotton rope, a squeeze bottle of tacky fabric glue, and about 45 minutes of glue-handed time.
I started out by making a big knot in the loose end of the rope (the non-fraying end had been secured--by the guy at the hardware store--by a piece of masking tape). Then I saturated the inside of the knot with fabric glue so it wouldn't come undone. After waiting a couple of minutes for the glue to set, I started winding the rope around itself to form a circle. This shape became the bottom of my basket.
When I was satisfied with the basket's size, I started to coil the rope vertically instead of outward in a circle, all the while applying copious amounts of glue between each layer and squeezing tight with my thumb and forefinger. This was tiring, but I kept my spirits up by imagining all the fun I was going to have peeling the dried glue off my hands in sheets. I kept going until I ran out of rope, but the size of this thing is entirely up to you.
As you'll see from the photos, I used a lot of glue. Probably too much. But the lovely ancillary benefit of my excess was that the basket is pretty air- and water-tight, and since the glue dries clear, it's also nice and shiny.